Sony has had some plans for the Spider-verse since rebooting Spider-Man in collaboration with Marvel Studios in Spider-Man: Homecoming. A young Tom Holland/Spider-Man is shared between two film studios, while all the other titles associated with the wall crawler would stay with Sony. Since then, Marvel has done more to include Spider-Man in their side of the films than Sony has. Yet, Sony has had some plans of their own with associated titles.
And now we get a glimpse on what Sony plans to do with their side of the deal.
Vulture ran a story that revealed some of what Sony has planned for the universe outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although Spider-Man is a shared property between Sony and Marvel/Disney, Amy Pascal (before stepping down from her position in 2015) promised titles that would tie-in with Spider-Man’s universe, particularly Silver & Black and Venom.
Fast forward to 2018.
Venom producer Avi Arad is “excited” for the title, despite it not being accurate to the comic book origins of the character. He also talked about it being “the beginning of a long journey.” Which means the studio plans on making Venom its own franchise.
“This is an origin story and we have to try and make it the beginning of a long journey. Kids love Venom. It’s something about it that attracts the anti-hero sensibility. So we are very excited.”
Filmmaker Emily Carmichael met with Sony about the Silver and Black movie featuring Black Cat and Silver Sable. The film is set to have comedic stylizing akin to Thelma & Louise. She described what Sony is aiming to do:
“At one of my early meetings on the project I got a peek at the phonebook-sized compendium of characters Sony has the rights to, all characters tangentially related to Spider-Man. It’s a cinematic universe, all right.”
And former Marvel and now DC writer Brian Michael Bendis has had some run-ins with Sony and had more than a few peeks at what the studio has planned for the Spider-verse.
“I thought they were very cool. Fans wouldn’t be annoyed with what they’re doing… the people who grew up wanting these movies are now making them. And not just a crappy Spider-Man movie. A really good Spider-Man movie. Everyone’s aiming high.”
The Hype/The Doubt
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is getting significant hype going in to San Diego Comic-Con. Venom is getting some new photos and fans are gushing at the comic-accurate Symbiote suit. And now it looks like we’re getting a Morbius movie, with Jared Leto cast as the titular character.
But with the hype from fans comes doubts.
We’re getting these snapshots of what Sony has in store for their Spider-verse. And no where do we see them playing ball with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We don’t even see the Spider-Man being much involved in these other properties aside from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which appears to be creating its own animated Spider-Verse. Is Sony trying to stay out of the Marvel Cinematic Machine as much as possible with these other titles? This is without any hint of comic-book accuracy to their origins. It doesn’t even have any of these characters playing significant ball with the breadwinner of their studio.
It’s like Harry Potter films depicting the exact likeness of how he is described in the books, but having none of his origins being the same. Like if we saw Harry’s parents being alive and well. Or young Harry being in something other than a cupboard for most of his youth. The images of Venom hearken to fans of the source material, but the alleged plot does disservice to that same material.
Audience Reception is the Final Verdict
Despite what Bendis, Arad, or Carmichael have stated, the fans (and their wallets) will have the ultimate say on the direction of these titles. We will disagree or agree with what Sony is doing and their ambitions with these adjunct titles. Our pocketbooks will make the decision for the studios.
Venom will premiere in theaters October 2018. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will be out in theaters in December 2018.